Micellar Wipes: Are They Wiping Out the Environment Too?

Whether after a long day of work or a quick touch-up during your beach holiday, micellar wipes are a go-to hack we all need. These wipes, loaded with tiny micelles, work like magic when it comes to lifting off makeup and unwanted residue from our skin. Although, these much-loved wipes may not always be the best thing for the environment.

The ecological impact of a simple micellar wipe can come from the materials used in them or their manufacturing and packaging process. Gladly, though, there is more than one solution to this conundrum. Curious to find out? Read ahead!

What Goes into Your Regular Micellar Makeup Wipes? 

The main ingredient in micellar wipes is a component called micelles. These particles have an oil-loving and a water-attracting end. The micelles soak up makeup or grease on our skin from their oil-loving end and wash them off from their water-attracting side. It makes them great at sweeping away dirt and oil without causing undue damage to the skin.

In addition to micelles, these wipes can also contain other ingredients. Moisturisers, emulsifiers, or fragrances are sometimes added to makeup remover wipes that give a temporary softness to the skin. In the long run, not only do these additives harm our bodies, but they are also detrimental to the planet.

Moisturisers are sometimes derived from petroleum by-products and can have a substantial carbon footprint. Petro-based gels are hard to biodegrade, and micellar water wipes containing such moisturisers can pollute our soils, rivers, and oceans.

In addition to harmful additives, the paper or cotton tissue carrying these ingredients can also spoil the environment. Growing wood or cotton requires a lot of natural resources, such as land and water. Commercial cotton and tree plantations also heavily rely on chemical fertilisers and pesticides that contaminate the air and can destroy the soil biome.

Some makeup removers are made from a mix of natural cotton or paper with artificial fibres such as polyester. It makes the tissue stretchable, soft, and long-lasting. Polyester is another petroleum product that can last for centuries.

Okay, but How Are Micellar Makeup Wipes Made and Packed? 

Micellar wipes land in your bag after going through a multi-step manufacturing process. These wipes are produced from a mixture of fibres soaked in a solution of water, micelles, and additional substances for moisturising. These fibres are woven into a sheet, then divided into smaller pieces and immersed in the solution. The sheets are kept in airtight containers to maintain the moisture until utilised.

Water purification is essential in producing these wipes. It ensures the final product is free of any impurities that could cause irritation or skin problems.

The micellar solution is prepared in this filtered water; however, unsustainable RO purification leads to considerable water wastage. Moreover, disposing of refuse water in a natural water body can adversely affect the local ecosystem.

Once the micellar wipes are manufactured and shaped, they are given two or sometimes three-layer packaging. They are first packed into individual wrappers and then packaged in bulk bags. Finally, the end-of-line packaging process ensures the wipes are properly sealed and ready for shipping. While some sustainable options are available, most companies use plastics in every step of the packaging procedure.

Beco offers 100% bamboo-based micellar water wipes to help you minimise your carbon footprint while accessing the comfort and convenience of micellar wipes. Beco's micellar wipes are free from toxins and harmful chemicals. They are coated with aloe extracts, vitamin B5, and vitamin E. The bamboo wipes are soft and completely biodegradable. 

How Reusable Makeup Remover Pads Benefit You — and Your Environment! 

Another option less harmful to the environment than your run-of-the-mill makeup removal wipes is a reusable makeup pad. Ditch the use and throw makeup wipes that may contain polyester and synthetic fabrics. Instead, invest in a good-quality makeup removal pad made from cotton or bamboo.

A reusable cotton pad's contribution to waste will be much lower than one-time-use wipes. You can use these pads to apply micellar water for an easy and effective cleanup. Using a pad made from bamboo will be even better for the planet. It is because bamboo is processed from a fast-growing grass-like plant. It takes up much less time, space, and water than cotton. Bamboo can grow on almost any type of land and does not need chemical fertilisers or pesticides.

How to Dispose of Micellar Makeup Wipes While Staying Green and Sustainable

The first rule of any tissue or makeup wipe disposal is not to flush it down the drain. It will not only clog your pipes but also pollute natural water systems.

Natural bamboo makeup cleansing wipes can be disposed of with the rest of your biodegradable waste.

If you have not used the wipe for removing oil-based makeup or any other grease, it may also safely be added to a compost bin. Although, adding a wipe with oils and grease to a compost pile can cause an oxygen demand imbalance.

As far as polyester wipes are concerned, try to dispose of them with any other plastic waste you may have. It is exhausting to recycle used wipes; properly segregating them is crucial.

Sustainable skincare should not be about going out of your way and dealing with great inconvenience. It is about finding and supporting simple solutions that make everyday habits environmentally friendly. We hope this post helped you learn more about micellar-based wipes and their impact.